court packing

  • The "Dead Hand" on the Supreme Court

    by Ronald Brownstein

    The Supreme Court's conservative majority has been nominated by presidents and confirmed by senators who represent rural, white, Christian conservatives in an increasingly diverse country. Court historian Jeff Shesol says this dynamic has threatened the court's legitimacy in the past. 

  • Stephen Vladeck: Bring Back the Second Part of FDR's SCOTUS Reform Plan

    by Stephen Vladeck

    As the Supreme Court adopts a posture of governing by injunction before lower court appeals run their course, should revive FDR's proposal that cases seeking to throw out state or federal rules be heard by special panels, not single judges chosen through jurisdiction-shopping. 

  • The History of 'Court Packing'

    Historian Julian Zelizer discusses the history and fallout of FDR's 1937 plan to "pack" the court, and similarities and differences that might come into play in 2021. 

  • Pack the Courts

    by Larry Kramer

    The former Dean of Stanford Law School argues "once cooperation breaks down, the only play to restore it is tit-for-tat. It’s the only way both sides can learn that neither side wins unless they cooperate."

  • FDR Was Right to Propose Enlarging the Court

    by James D. Robenalt

    Franklin Roosevelt's error in 1937 was not to propose expanding the court, it was to fail to explain and defend his popular political reasons for doing so.

  • The Case Against Packing the Court

    by Jeff Shesol

    The main risk for Biden isn't that court packing would escalate partisan war over the courts. It's that it might destroy his own Democratic coalition. 

  • Why History Shows 'Court Packing' Isn't Extreme

    by Nicole Hemmer

    The politicized change in the size of the court has already happened. It occurred in 2016, when a Republican-controlled Senate allowed the court to shrink to eight justices.